According to a preliminary investigation, the inbounds avalanche that killed three people at Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho last week was triggered by skiers. ABC reports The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center said the ski patrol’s avalanche mitigation on Jan. 7th was proper despite the obvious:
“They had done their control work just like they always do. In fact, I think they did more than they normally do to open that slope.” –Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center Director Jeff Thompson
Three skiers died in the slide, two were rescued after complete burial and a few others were partially buried. The avalanche happened below an area of expert terrain. Thompson said the movement of skiers along the flank of the peak triggered the avalanche.
The IDAC preliminary report describes the slide as 300-foot-wide. It was released about 90 feet from the top of Wardner Peak and slid 900 feet down the steeply pitched run called 16 to 1.Thompson believes the explosives work done by ski patrol was adequate:
“There are no fingers to be pointed from IPACs standpoint. Sometimes explosives and mitigation practices aren’t enough. Mother Nature has a mind of her own.”
images from idahopanhandleavalanche.org